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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Since Kondengui, William Sollo still accused of embezzlement of 156 million

The former director general of Cameroon Water's Utilities Corporation is again being tried before the Special Criminal Court. This time he must explain an alleged diversion of 156 million francs. The funds were paid to a Camwater supplier as payment for a fictitious market by the Crown.

The legal proceedings against Jean William Sollo, the former director general (DG) of the Cameroon Water Utilities Corporation (Camwater), follow each other and are alike. The series of public trials against him before the Special Criminal Court (TCS) three weeks ago continued on 13 September. The former CEO is this time to explain an alleged embezzlement of the sum of 156.2 million francs made to the detriment of the Camwter between 2012 and 2013. In this procedure, Mr. Sollo shares the dock with the Franco Cameroonian Eugene Essomba, promoter of the private public works company called LMS and Dieudonné Mah and former director of financial affairs (DAF) Camwater at the time of the facts.

The public prosecutor considers that the funds at the center of the legal proceedings were improperly paid to the promoter of the LMS. The three men have been meditating at Yaounde Kondengui central prison since March 2018. The first public hearing on this procedure lasted only a handful of minutes, just the time for the collegiality of the judges in charge of review the record to proceed with the appeal of the parties. Nothing else. The hearing resumes on October 22, 2018 for the public prosecutor to summon the representatives of Camwater and the Ministry of Finance (Minfi), civil parties in the proceedings. Pending the opening of the proceedings in this case, a source close to the case told Kalara that Mr. Sollo and his companions in misfortune were sentenced on July 13, 2018. The legal proceedings against the three defendants resulted from a denunciation from the Director of the Financial Investigations Agency (Anif) made to the TCS Public Prosecutor's Office. The complaint pointed to suspicions of diversion against the Camwater.

Contract Code

In fact, Anif's services had noted that between 3 September 2012 and 22 August 2013, the Camwater had made some 10 transfers amounting to several million francs to LMS, whose bank accounts are opened in the books of Bicec. TCS investigators will conduct research to shed light on the facts reported. According to our source, during the police and judicial investigations, Mr. Essomba explained that his company LMS had won an OTC market launched under emergency procedure and related to the supply to Camwater water treatment pumps , water tanks as well as a demountable water distribution network.

Only, continues our source, the prosecution says it found that the transfers were made a month before the company "has a legal existence" in Cameroon. What it considers a violation of the Code des Marches Publics. Mr. Sollo and Dieudonné Mah, the former director of financial affairs at Camwater, are on trial for co-signing payment orders authorizing transfers of funds to the center of the proceedings. It will be necessary to wait for the opening of the debates in this affair to know more.

Recall that Jean William Sollo has already appeared to the TCS for another case of alleged embezzlement of the sum of 125.8 million francs. It was August 30th. In this case, the former director general is accused of having ordered the payment of the disputed amount in favor of Joseph Nono Kounatse, the promoter of the company Socabart.

The company had won a contract in 2008 to support Camwater in carrying out the project to strengthen and improve drinking water supply in the city of Douala and its surroundings. The public prosecutor considers that the payment in question is undue for the simple reason that the works carried out by Socabart have never been validated nor received by the Camwater.For this file, Hubert Augustin Abega Abega, technical director at Camwater and Aloys Ndzie, employed at Cameroon Water (CDE) complete the list of defendants.Meanwhile, the case concerning Jean William Sollo with his predecessor at Camwater Basile Atangana Kouna is still being examined in the office of the examining magistrate of the TCS.